National News Recap: Derek Chauvin found guilty, beginning of peace talks in Afghanistan postponed

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, talks with Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar, outside the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, April 51, 2021. Blinken made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Thursday to sell Afghan leaders and a wary public on President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw all American troops from the country and end America’s longest-running war. (Afghan Presidential Palace via AP)

Derek Chauvin found guilty of murder of George Floyd 

On Tuesday, April 20, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all charges related to the death of George Floyd, including second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Floyd’s death in May 2020, recorded by a bystander, began an international series of protests and political movements to end police brutality in the United States, much of which, activists say, targets the Black community.  

Chauvin’s conviction was not the end of the movement against police killings, according to civil rights activist Jesse Jackson in a recent CNN interview. 

“It’s a relief, but the celebration is premature … We still have a lot of work to do. This is a first down, not a touchdown,” Jackson told CNN.   

Other incidents of police brutality, including the deaths of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo on April 11 and 16, have also gathered criticism from civil rights leaders.  

“You can’t tell us to shut up and suffer. We must speak up when there is an injustice,” said Reverend Al Sharpton, delivering a eulogy at Wright’s funeral in Brooklyn on April 19. 

Action is being taken in Washington, D.C. to handle police reform. ABC reported that the George Floyd Justice Act is a “top priority” for President Joe Biden. 

“The fight has to continue because there are so many other families that have not received justice,” said Bianca Floyd, the niece of George Floyd. 

Peace Talks between U.S. and Taliban Postponed 

On Wednesday, April 21, planned peace talks between the U.S., the Taliban and other groups in Afghanistan were postponed. The meeting was planned after Biden’s promise on April 14 to remove all American troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. that began the longest war in American history. 

A Los Angeles Times article reports that a new date and location is being planned for peace talks, likely after Ramadan. 

“The decision came several days after Taliban insurgents, who are key to peace efforts, dismissed the U.S.-backed conference in Istanbul, Turkey, as a political spectacle in service of American interests,” according to the LA Times.  

Officials in Afghanistan worry the delay may means there will not be a ceasefire during the withdrawal, after a promise made by former President Donald Trump in January that U.S. troops would be removed by May 1.  

“Many Afghans now fear a terrible tumbling towards civil war in a conflict already described as one of the most violent in the world,” according to the BBC.

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